Category Archives: Running

Post-injury running update

Hello! Wanted to pop in quickly to do a little update since I am officially running again! Not much and definitely sloooooow, but I’m happy to be pain free, finally!

Dr. Travis McCathie (who is a miracle-worker and super awesome – shout out to Tracy for the recommendation) gave me the “all-clear” to run again on November 22 and on November 24, I ran for the first time in 52 days.

I ran for 20 minutes and surprisingly, cardio-wise I felt pretty good! My legs, however, protested almost from the very beginning. Instead of running, I took the dog on a 2.3 mile walk the next day and ran again for 20 minutes the day after that. It went about as well as the first run, but I felt tired. I took four days off before running again and in those four days, it was a struggle to get through the day, my body felt sore and a lot of my adrenal fatigue symptoms reemerged.

A trip to see my acupuncturist, along with some herbs, paying really close attention to my diet (AKA EATING LESS SUGAR) and a renewed effort to get a solid eight hours of sleep at night, and I started to feel better. I ran again on December 1st and 3rd and increased my time to, wait for it, 23 MINUTES for each of those runs!

Then, on December 5th, something happened. It snowed and got cold AF and I haven’t run since. But what being injured (and tbh, a lack of motivation to run outside in the cold) brought back to my life is the reminder that I love working out and I love variety! Case in point: After a group rock climbing event with my Oiselle teammates, I’ve been climbing once per week and recently invested in my own gear. I love it!

I also started up with a hot yoga practice again at my old studio in Bloomington and it makes me SO HAPPY. I’m only going once per week right now, but it’s one of the things I most look forward to each week and I know the heat and sweating is so good for my body.

Also, last night was the best spin workout I’ve had in years. The instructor had great energy and we got a full-body workout with a weight bar for our arms and core and I loved the variety of sprints and hills throughout class.

Last, but not least, I finally feel like I’ve got a routine down with self-care and strength training at home. Every evening I do something – alternating between foam rolling/stretching, a quick strength circuit, core, PT exercises, etc.

While, yes, I’m still pretty inconsistent with running these days, I’m cautiously optimistic that I could have some decent races ahead of me this spring. Although this line of thinking inevitably led me to registering for races, when my original plan was to wait until Feb. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Race Recap: 2017 Twin Cities 10 Mile

I ran with a charity bib, in honor of my dad and Charlie and to represent team Miles with Maeve

This was my 7th 10 mile and 2nd TC 10 Mile. And was a great reminder why I love the distance and this race, specifically! Even though this training cycle included a stress reaction and a hamstring strain, it showed me just how effective cross training can be.

My alarm off at 4:15. Breakfast was two scrambled eggs, a cassava tortilla and a cup of tea. I could hear it raining outside, so I threw on my Oiselle wallace jacket over my race outfit, along with lux track pants. I left the house at 5:20. Easily found parking in the neighborhood near the Lexington light rain station and met Alicia to walk to the train. Once we got to US Bank Stadium, we got off the train and headed promptly to the porta potty line.

It was a relatively fast-moving porta potty line so we were still doing OK on time. We found Jason and Laura and then headed to find gear check. After going in the wrong direction at first, we finally made it to gear check and while I was tying my bag, the gear bag broke. All of a sudden, we had very little time to spare to get into our corrals, so I just handed the bag to the gear check guy, pointed out the broken bag and crossed my fingers. (Luckily, when I got my bag back at the finish, nothing was missing.)

Even though I was technically assigned to Corral A, with my lack of training, I knew I had no business starting there. So we started near-ish to the front of Corral B. Right around 7:09 a.m., Corral B took off. It took a good mile to shake out the nerves and then the rain started picking up, which was actually a good distraction. We sailed along pretty uneventfully until about mile 5.5, when my legs started complaining just a touch. I knew this would likely happen – my longest training run was eight miles and I hadn’t run in two weeks.

Somewhere around mile 7ish, we came across ice little downhill and I wasn’t quite paying attention. I overextended a bit and tweaked my hip flexor and all of a sudden, I got real nervous about the last few miles. But luckily Laura talked me down and reminded me to focus on my form. So I focused on shortening my stride and picking up my knees (things I slack on when I get tired) and it eventually worked itself out.

Right before mile 9, I made up my mind that I was ready to be done racing. So, I picked up the pace until I got to the downhill. I eased up to avoid overextending again.

My splits were all over the place (not typical for me), but probably to be expected with a lack of training and the weather/course. It’s my second fasted 10 mile to date (I’ve only raced a few). Super proud of Alicia, Laura and Jason for their PRs! I was so thankful to Laura and Jason for letting me run with them during the race. They had done both the 5k and 10k the day before, but still were running strong and kept me going!

Splits: 8:58, 9:08, 9:26, 9:03, 9:26, 9:22, 9:25, 9:03, 9:17, 8:13

Official time: 1:32:36

Weekly Workouts: 8/28 – 9/3

I came off of two weekends of more running than my body was probably ready for (Ragnar and Bird Camp), so I took the past week easy. I’m feeling re-energized about my running, getting strong again and getting my symptoms under control and my Hashis into remission. Here’s the first of many shout outs to Coach Becki for all of the support!

Monday – 2.39 mile walk

This walk took way longer than it should have, which was the direct result of bringing C along and him refusing to ride in the stroller. Oh, hey, toddlers walk really slow. Regardless, Andrea and I had a nice walk and chat and refueled with Sonora Grill tacos afterwards ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Tuesday 3 miles, 9:34 pace

Oh, happy day! NEW SHOES! I made a trip to Mill City Running to see the lovely Sara and then promptly took my new shoes for an easy three-miler.

Just like at camp, they felt great. I just might be a Hoka convert.

Wednesday – Busy day, didn’t end up working out. Did have a fun evening with some friends and their kids at a nearby park though!

Thursday – Took the day as a rest day and spent four hours in the car, but a trip to the Minnesota State Fair helped me still end up with more than 13,000 steps.

Random side note: OK so this is going to sound dramatic, but I had been preparing myself for weeks for how my fair (eating) experience was going to be different from year’s past, given that I’m avoiding certain foods (mainly gluten and dairy). But it was WAY easier and more enjoyable that I was anticipating. I printed out a gluten-free foods list from the fair website, and was surprised by all of the options. I ended up getting the french fries which I’d never gotten before (!!!!), a hard cider, the mini sconuts from French Meadow, kettle corn and a Chicago-style hot dog on a gluten free bun.

C loved the food and the animals. He didn’t love being in the stroller or having to hold our hands. Sounds about right for a two year old!

We all ended up taking naps in the afternoon and then left for the cabin that evening. Long day, for sure!

Friday 3.01 miles, 9:04 pace

I worked from the cabin in the morning and then we had errands to run, but it was still nice and cool out by the time I got out for this three mile easy run. Besides getting cat-called by some construction workers (WTF), the run was uneventful and felt pretty good. And running on the country roads totally reminded me of Ragnar!

Saturday – 8 miles, 9:23 pace

J and I headed to the Mesabi trail head near the cabin. I ran towards Grand Rapids and he ran towards Coleraine. We figured we’d finish running right around the same time since I was running 8 miles (figured around a 10 min/mi pace) and he was going to run 10 (and was trying for a slower 8 min pace).

tbh I felt pretty awful from the moment I woke up Saturday morning – I ended the night before with a couple too many gluten-free beers, hard ciders, handfuls of kettle corn, etc. I was feeling the imflammation and my stomach wasn’t too happy, either.

But even though it took a bit longer than usual to feel warmed up, I was pleasantly surprised to eventually settle into a nice groove. Miles 4-6 felt pretty effortless (minus a moment of panic where I thought I had to use the bathroom and the porta potties I came across were padlocked). The hills started to take their toll during mile 7 and I think I actually tweaked my hamstring at one point. I picked the pace back up for the last mile, but I was pretty tired.

Saturday afternoon we decided (on a whim) to hit up Bovey Farmer Days and specifically, the cribbage tournament that was taking place in the basement of city hall. To say we were out of place would be an understatement. I’m pretty used to getting stared at (hello, growing up in rural Wisconsin with white parents), but this definitely was an experience that pushed me out of my comfort zone. J and I were among the second youngest people there (by a lot) and the youngest person was our thirteen-year-old nephew!

We didn’t really know what to expect, but when we got there, it wasn’t exactly the warmest welcome. And I could feel myself getting nervous when the person who was running the tournament started reading the rules.

I’ll save you the details of what took place over the next three hours, but the TL;DR version: We didn’t win, most people were very friendly, some were not and were quite impatient with us, but we still had a good time. Ask me about it the next time you see me. Trust me – it’s quite the story.

Sunday – 11.7 mile bike

Legs felt tired, but it was a nice day on the Iron Range, so I was happy just to enjoy the ride and took it nice and easy.

Looking forward to the cool, fall-like weather we’re expecting in MN this coming week!

Race Recap: 2017 Ragnar Great River

My alarm went off at 1:45 a.m. and I was out the door by 2:30 a.m. We met at Volee teammate Kaitlin’s place and was on the road to Winona by 3 freaking a.m.

After a slight detour due to road construction and missing our 5:45 a.m. start time, we finally made it to the start line. Alicia headed out with the 6 a.m. crew and then my third Ragnar experience was officially underway!

Leg 1: 6.6 miles, 9:16 pace

Thank goodness this leg went well because I felt like it set a good tone for my Ragnar experience overall. I felt pretty strong (legs were fresh after a few unintentional rest days prior). I had 15 “road kills” — mostly on the hills, where I felt the strongest and was able to pass some walkers.

Splits were: 9:30, 9:28, 9:21, 9:21, 9:08, 9:03. I was, however, SO happy to see the “one mile to go” sign and even happier to see my teammate Jacenta waiting for me at the exchange.

After our van was done with our first legs, we stopped in Nelson, Wisconsin at the Nelson Creamery for sandwiches. I was pleasantly surprised they had gluten-free wraps! It was raining by this point and everyone was starting to feel the effects from our early start, so we pulled off at Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum and Park to get in a quick nap. Half of the team snoozed in the van and Laura, Alicia and I found a pavilion to stretch out under. I slept a solid 40 minutes and felt like a brand new person when I woke up.

We got a text from van 2 that they were ahead of pace, so we drove a few miles down the road to the next exchange. Rachel, runner 12, came flying into the exchange and then Alicia was off! Van 1 was back on the clock.

Leg 2: 3.4 miles, 9:27 pace

Dressed in all black, ready for my night run

At 7:11 p.m. I headed out on my second leg. My body felt tired and the first mile (9:39 pace) was pretty rough. The hills were steeper than in my first leg and my legs just didn’t want to turn over. I managed to pick up the pace just slightly as the elevation evened out slightly, but it was tough (9:34 and 9:19).

Elevation map for my second leg

Our entire van was feeling pretty loopy from lack of sleep, so naturally we cranked up the music, ate PB&J sandwiches and then set out to find a place to crash for a couple hours.

Have glow sticks, will van rave

We decided to throw our sleeping bags down on the grass and sleep under the stars at Stillwater High School, the location of the next exchange.

Unfortunately the foot traffic near our sleeping location kept me from being able to sleep much more than 30 minutes or so and I woke up feeling worse than when I had gone to bed. But before we knew it, it was time to meet van 2 at the next exchange and run our third and final legs.

Leg 3: 2.7 miles, 8:41 pace
My final leg was at 5:38 a.m. and boy, was I ready to be done. So, following Alicia, Laura and Kaitlin’s examples, I gave this one all I had left. The lack of hills and cool weather made this run feel pretty effortless, even on tired legs.

Once Jacenta and Rachel rocked their final legs, van 2 headed out to bring it home!

van 1 – done!

The next priority was real food and for some of us…..a bloody mary.


Soon it was time to meet up with van 2 and cross the finish line together!

I think most of us were surprised when the final results were posted and we finished in less than 30 hours, and were the second place women’s team overall!

Final results:

Recap: Fall Great Lakes Bird Camp (AKA the greatest weekend ever)

Man, I’m coming down off of my bird camp high and it’s not pretty. So I stayed up late last night to write this and relive #allthememories. Sorry in advance that this is so long:

Friday

I rushed around all morning finishing up some last minute work, dropping off the little guy at daycare and packing and unpacking and changing my mind on everything I packed. Before I knew it, Amanda texted that she was out front! We headed to the airport to meet up with the other drivers and birds who had flown in from out of town.

Not even an hour into the trip and Courtney found some birds

Not even an hour into the trip and Courtney found some birds

We made a quick stop for lunch and then I had the privilege of getting to know Courtney and Amanda (who are both so lovely and wonderful) better in the car on the way up. After we arrived and checked in, we headed out for a short group run. It felt good to shake out the legs after a few hours in the car.

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The rest of the evening was a lot of fun reconnecting with the other Minnesota birds who I already knew (including my roommates: Megan, Jessy, Ali and Lisa) and making introductions with some new faces at the welcome reception! Next up was dinner and then we gathered for our two sessions that evening.

The first session was super timely since I’ve been really focusing on cleaning up my diet as of late: Rasa Troup, Olympian and Minnesota Vikings nutritionist spoke about fueling for runs (and life).  Next, Oiselle Haute Volee Anna Weber talked about how your dreams don’t need to have prerequisites and/or deadlines. She talked about her story of putting a hold on her “regular life” to train full time to work towards qualifying for the Olympic trials in the marathon. It was cool to hear about her ups and downs, what her training looks like and then spend the rest of the weekend with her, getting to know her better.

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Rasa, talking nutrition

Next it was bonfire time! I stayed awake longer than I thought I’d be able to, chatting with other birds and then headed to bed to rest up for another jam-packed day.

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In case you were wondering, this is how you do a beer fridge

In case you were wondering, this is how you do a beer fridge

Saturday

We got up and headed to breakfast bright and early. Afterwards, the rest of the group headed out for a short run. I wasn’t planning to run (because of my hip), so I grabbed my Kindle, a blanket and a coffee and curled up on a bench outside of my cabin. It was a crisp morning, but sunny, so it was super relaxing to do some reading by the lake.

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Once everyone got back, we reconvened at our meeting place — a blue ox statue near the main resort lodge to walk over to the high ropes course at Clearwater Forest. This was one of the activities I was most excited about. I hadn’t done anything like this since maybe sixth grade (?) and I had no idea if I was going to get up there and freak out, but I was hoping I’d be able to complete the course. I was one of the last to go, and I found myself getting more excited after watching everyone else having so much fun! I was so impressed — even a few birds who were nervous, they still made their way up the course. Once you got up there, the most fun way down was to zipline! It made me want to try it again!

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Once we got back to the resort, we had lunch and then walked over to the leaders’ cabin area for a bootcamp class. Amanda led us through an intense two rounds of lunges, squats, jumping jacks, commandos, sprinting, etc. etc. I was definitely feeling it afterwards.

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Next on the agenda was mini golfing, human foosball and froyo, but first things first, we took a team photo by a leaping deer, because…Deerwood.

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Roommate photo!

Roommate photo!

Traditions Mini Golf is the CUTEST place and they also are one of (I think, four) places in the country with a human foosball arena. AND they have froyo!

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Human foosball. I wasn’t wearing the right shoes to participate 😦

After dinner, we all gathered for a Oiselle trunk show where Heather showed off some current pieces AND some sneak peeks of things coming soon. I swear I could hear my bank account crying while she was showing a gorgeous new vest and winter jacket.

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New lux glovessss

We ended the night with another bonfire party!

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Sunday

I woke up to an amazing sunrise, which made it a bit easier to get my butt out of bed. The long run was taking place at the Cuyuna State Park, which was about 25 minutes away, so we all piled into a few cars to drive over.

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I was only planning to run about five miles, so I ran with Jessy for the first half of her run and then I headed back to the parking lot to take in the views for awhile with Laura and Carrie while waiting for everyone else to finish.

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Once we got back to the resort, I took a quick shower and then we headed to the bonfire area for a group yoga session and it felt SO GOOD. My sore muscles were practically saying “ahhhhhhh” out loud as Rachel guided us through a lovely, restorative 45 minutes in the sunshine, with the lake just a few feet away.

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Next was lunch and then we had some down time. It was a bit chilly and windy, so I opted out of the water recreation activities to take a power nap. Once I woke up, I took a shower and got ready. I went to find caffeine and then sat with some other birds, overlooking the lake.

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At 5 p.m. we gathered at the bonfire area/leaders’ cabin for core work and form drills, led by one of the Haute Volee, the hilarious Becki Spellman.

We also filmed our second #DiscoDanceOff

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Form drills are one of those things I know I should be doing, but I never knew if I was doing them quite right, so this was super helpful! And the core session was awesome because it was interesting to see the kinds of core work an elite does, and it was also informative because Becki really explained HOW to do the exercises to get the most out of them.

After dinner, Jungle Chicken (AKA my friend and former St. Paul neighbor, Erin Ward) gave her talk: I get knocked down…do I get up again? It kicked off with dancing to Chumbawumba. Because, of course it did.

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Somehow, Erin managed to be funny and inspirational and self deprecating all at the same time. I appreciated her openness and honesty — it was the perfect last “talk” of the weekend.

After that heaviness, were all feelin’ the need to dance party and so we did — to JT and 90s hip hop.

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So much fun that this photo turned out blurry

Then, we ordered pizza:

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Monday

Even though breakfast was moved back to 8 a.m., I woke up around 6:15 naturally, but forced myself to go back to sleep until 7. Luckily, when I woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, I had the foresight to down a bottle of water and take ibuprofen as a precautionary measure. So besides being tired, I woke up feeling fantastic.

After breakfast, we all met at the blue ox for a last group photo and to say some goodbyes (sniff).
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Then, most of the group headed out for a short run, while the rest of us set out to find caffeine. Our plans were thwarted due to the on-site coffee shop’s fall off-season hours, so we drove to Holiday for coffee. While we were there, chocolate donuts were calling our name.

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We enjoyed our donuts and then everyone finished packing up. Before we knew it, it was time to check out and say the rest of our goodbyes.

HUGE THANK YOUS TO:

  • Oiselle – Sally, you and the team have built something incredible. And to Feather, who is the nicest, cutest person and represented HQ well.
  • Leaders: Sheila, Darci, Jana and Tracy – from the first email that went out about camp, I knew this was going to be an amazing experience. It was so well organized and there was a lot of care that went into making sure that every. single. person. had an unforgettable time.
  • Elites: Anna and Becki – Unlike others I’ve met, Becki and Anna were friendly and treated everyone the same, whether they run 7-minute miles or 11-minute miles. Plus, they’re both really funny. And I got some great insight and perspective around my injury issues from Becki during dinner.
  • All of the educational and inspirational speakers!
  • Last, but definitely not least, the amazing women who make up this team. I’m so lucky to call you teammates and friends!

Head up, wings out!

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Whistlestop Half Marathon Training: Less Than Seven Weeks to Go!

Monday: 20 minute swim + legs/glutes

A week out of the pool and the remnants of a cold made this a bit rough, but I still saw improvement in the time it took me to complete my time — I’m getting faster!

Tuesday: 3.52 miles (9:35 pace) + abs

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That afternoon, I headed the new and shiny U.S. Bank Stadium for a VIP BiPro Protein Water launch event. It was cool to see the new stadium and the BiPro folks even introduced me to pro runner Jordan Hasay and former pro (and Minnesota Vikings) NFL player Ben Leber! They were super nice and it was fun to chat running, nutrition and recovery. I’m hoping to have an event recap (with a sweet discount code!) up tomorrow.

Wednesday: Arms/back + Jasyoga

Thursday: 3.18 miles (9:35 pace) + abs

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Tired after abs

Friday: Total body strength training

Saturday: 1.62 mile walk + abs

Probably should’ve gotten my run in on Saturday, but my hip and knee were bothering me so I took an extra rest day. And I knew I was going to be at the State Fair walking around a lot, so I didn’t want to overdo it.

The Dixie Chicks were amazing. I’ve loved them for forever and had given up on my dream of seeing them live, so I was thrilled when they announced their world tour, with a stop in MN!

On top of everything, we had the BEST SEATS EVER!

Photo credit: @mlswenson

Photo credit: @mlswenson

Since I’ll be going back to the fair with the fam, I kept my eating relatively under control while I was there — a Pronto Pup, some wine and a beer, some Chicago Mix popcorn and a salmon and shrimp slider (DELICIOUS), and I called it good.

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Sunday: 4.18 miles (10 min pace)

Oh boy, this was rough. I already knew I wasn’t going to run as far as I should, seven weeks out from a half because my hip was bothering me, but once I got out there, it was hard to even make it four miles! It was hot (I didn’t get out until around 2) and I obviously didn’t have enough water for a warm day (and all of the adult beverages the night before). My first mile was around 10:40 — I wanted to go out easy, but I couldn’t have gone faster if I wanted to. I did pick up the pace a little and finished my last mile in 9:45.

This week is all about continuing my strength training and coming up with a plan with my PT to get me through the half.

Have you been to the/a State Fair this year? What’d you eat?

I’m linking up today with Jess and Jess!

My fall half marathon plans + Team MwM

I’ve already mentioned that I’m doing the Whistlestop Half Marathon in some social media posts and last week’s workout recap, but I still wanted to write a post about how I chose the race. I spent a good few days SUPER bummed about not getting into the TC 10 Mile and the quit feeling sorry for myself (because, really, there are much more important things to be upset about) and started looking into other fall races. Around the same time, I saw a video that Faith’s Lodge posted on Facebook about a non-profit organization, Miles with Maeve, that works with athletes to raise money to support families who’ve experienced infant or pregnancy loss. I reached out to the organization and Garrett (Maeve’s dad) got back to me right away with more information about them and how we could work together. Almost immediately I agreed to join the team and shortly after, decided on the Whistlestop Half Marathon in Ashland, WI. I set a fundraising goal of $1,000, with some of the funds going to Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep and some to Faith’s Lodge. Well, less than a week later, to my surprise, I surpassed my goal! That said, if you’d still like to donate, I’d be THRILLED to be able to donate even more to these amazing organizations.

Re:  The race — I was hoping to PR, but with my nagging hip issues, breaking two hours would be just fine and something I’d feel really good about. I just want to enjoy this race and am looking forward to a little getaway with Jesse!

After last weekend’s 5K, I came down with a wicked summer cold and it took all week to get over it. I didn’t run (or work out at all) until Saturday.In addition to running, I’m finally incorporating strength and stretching into my routine on a consistent basis. I’m still doing my Jasyoga every day and lifting and doing core work about 3x/week.

I was also sick on my birthday — BOO — but I still made the most of a nice date night with the husband:

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I didn’t have much of an appetite, but I had a bite (or two) of the birthday gelato they sent out — with a cute, handwritten card! Thanks, Italian Eatery!

Also, because I’m obsessed with how these turned out, here are a few shots from Calvin’s one-year photo shoot. Megan Grommes of Megan Crown Photography is incredible!

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